Sunday, February 5, 2012

Healthy Oatmeal Pancakes

In an effort to eat healthier this year, breakfast has become a very important meal.  Starting the day off with a meal that is filled with protein, whole grains and fruit. can pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day.  A healthy breakfast fills me up, boosts my energy level and will usually stave off hunger until late in the day.

It's difficult to eat a substantial breakfast on a work day.  I leave the house around 7:30AM and the thought of eating a big breakfast is the last thing on my mind.  The weekend is a different story.  I've always enjoyed making something special breakfast or brunch.  Weekend breakfasts are probably my favorite meal.  Unfortunately, they usually contains many of the foods we are trying to avoid.  In an effort to keep weekend breakfasts interesting, I needed to get creative.  I love pancakes, but I usually make them with white flour and top 'em off with butter and pure maple syrup.  I decided to make a healthier version.  These pancakes didn't require any special ingredients, just ingredients that I pretty much keep stocked in the house.  It does require the use of a food processor though.  I topped the pancakes with fresh berries, but a sauce made from frozen berries would be a good option if you can't get fresh.  This recipe made 12  three inch pancakes which fed me, Paul and another serving left over.  They are hearty pancakes! Leftovers can be wrapped and refrigerated.   For a quick weekday treat, just pop them in the microwave for a minute with some berries and you can pretend it's the weekend.

Oatmeal Pancakes
Yields 1 dozen 3" pancakes

Pancake Ingredients:
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats, divided into half cup portions
  • 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 very ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Canola oil or Pam
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  1. Combine the sliced strawberries and blueberries with maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl.  
  2. Microwave on high for 10 seconds.  Stir, and set aside, allowing to sit at room temperature.
  3. Place one half cup of oats in the work bowl of a food processor.  Cover and process until oats are the texture of coarse sand.
  4. Add the remaining oats, cottage cheese, eggs, banana slices, vanilla, brown sugar and cinnamon to the work bowl.  Cover and process 10 seconds, scrape down sides, then process another 10 seconds.  Batter should look like the texture of cooked oatmeal.  
  5. Allow batter to sit for 5 minutes.
  6. Heat a non-stick griddle and wipe with a paper towel that has been dipped in canola oil.  (You can use Pam if you choose, but the propellant in Pam will eventually damage the non-stick coating of your pan)
  7. Pour batter onto griddle (3 inch rounds) and cook on medium - low heat.  
  8. The batter is fairly dense and will not bubble the same as other pancakes.  Look for the edges turn golden brown and the pancake to look slightly dry.  Flip the pancakes and cook another minute or two until done.
  9. Serve pancakes with berry topping and its juices.

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